Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.
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Cottage Grove resident Marcie Berglund is a familiar face to a lot of the theater community since she is heavily involved with middle school productions, the Woodbury Community Theatre and now even the high school plays. Berglund has been involved with the Woodbury Middle School plays, as well as the Woodbury Community Theatre play, both acting and directing, for many years. This year she will be adding East Ridge High School to her resume. Berglund is directing the ERHS spring play, "Government Inspector," which opens May 6.
Pictures speak louder than words. The old adage rings true for Molly Gallahue. The Woodbury Middle School eighth grader recently had her illustrative work included in an art show in Baltimore, Md. "I was pretty excited when I found out about this," Molly said about the feat.
Jon and Karen Seashore will be celebrating an important anniversary next week. But it's not a wedding anniversary. The couple will be directing their 70th show at Woodbury High School when the spring play "Hold Me" debuts Thursday, April 29. The first show the Seashores directed was "Arsenic and Old Lace," in 1978. "At the time we had no idea what was in store," Jon Seashore recalled.
The Afton staff has finally become whole - just in time for interim city administrator Jim Norman's departure at the end of the month. During last night's meeting, the Afton City Council approved the hires of both a deputy clerk and an interim city administrator. The new Afton deputy clerk will be Stillwater resident Kim Linner who will bring with her experience as a former building inspector for the city of Woodbury, an architect and as a former Grant city council member. Linner will be paid $20 hour for a 30 hour week.
Every year, the students at Lake Middle School have asked theater director Robin Bartell if they can do "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" for the spring musical. And every year Bartell has said 'no.' "To be honest, we have a very small stage, and the set (for the Willy Wonka production) is so big," Bartell said.
If you ever went to middle school, odds are you were witness to bullying in one way or another. Maybe you had things whispered about your behind your back. Or maybe you were the one doing the whispering. Or maybe, you were just watching the bullying without taking action. "Bullying is a problem in every school; it's a problem with everybody," said Lake Middle School sixth grade counselor Jodi Danielson. Danielson and other school staff are working to take steps toward stopping bullying in the school with the creation of a Bullying Prevention Committee.
The city of Afton is still talking wind turbines as its planning commission continues to work on developing a wind energy ordinance.
There are plenty of events that celebrate elementary through high school students -- graduations, school carnivals, award ceremonies -- but what about early childhood education students? That's where the 'Week of the Young Child' (WOYC) comes into play at St. Ambrose Catholic School. St. Ambrose of Woodbury Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC) will be celebrating the WOYC April 12-16. "Not all centers do celebrate it, but it's basically a celebration of, or recognition of, the importance of quality early childhood programs," ECEC director Anne Huber said.
Larry and Anne Headrick, of Afton, don't consider themselves wine connoisseurs, or even avid wine drinkers for that matter, but they are heavily involved with the wine making process -- growing the grapes. The Headricks have recently started Marquette Vineyards of Afton where they grow Marquette variety grapes and sell them to the St. Croix Vineyard winery in Stillwater. "We're not heavy wine drinkers at all, but we do like the wine that is produced from these grapes," Larry said.
The Afton City Council had a brief budget discussion at a March 30 work session over how the city will cover its legal bills associated with the GJ&M lawsuit. "We've got some big legal bills," council member Peg Nolz said. The bill that the city received is $271,000. The city currently has $178,000 budgeted in its Audit/Legal Reserve fund. Mayor Pat Snyder raised the question of how the city will cover those expenses. "We need to prepare for the worst case," she said. Currently it is pending whether or not GJ&M plans to appeal the decision.